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A Gentle Character

By:  Donna Martin

When you think of gentleness perhaps you think of a mother’s touch with her newborn baby, or the cuddly embrace of a child, or the soft voice of your grandmother, or a tender kiss.

Gentleness is one of the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:23-24.   Gentleness should not be equated with weakness.  Gentleness does not mean that someone is a pushover or is weak.  Some of the strongest men I know are “gentle” men.

Gentleness is such an important quality to find in a marriage.  Ephesians 4:2-3 tells us to “Be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”  Even though Paul was talking about the church in this passage, we can apply this principal to our relationships within our family.  Gentleness in marriage can help strengthen our marriage bond, build trust, and cultivate our love for our spouse.  We all have a tendency to fly off the handle at times and to react to our spouse in ways we would never react to our co-workers.  It takes strength in tense situations to remain gentle.  But gentleness can turn a tense situation around.  Proverbs 15:1 tells us “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  How many times have we regretted the harsh words that come out of our mouth the instant after we have said them? 

Gentleness is a characteristic that I admire in my husband, Mike.  There have been so many times that I have observed his gentle character when dealing with clients.  Our clients may have approached us with anger and frustration, but Mike has remained calm, listened to their concerns, empathized with their feelings until, at the end of our meeting, the client is calm and ready to approach the business at hand with trust and understanding.  All it took was a little gentleness.  Just as in business, this calm approach helps alleviate tensions in our family.  Many times all our spouse or children need is a listening ear and empathy and this is when “a gentle answer” is all it takes to calm a tense situation.

Colossians 3:18 gives us “Rules for a Christian Household.”  “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.  Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”  In each of these situations gentleness is a key element.

Do you have enough strength to be gentle?

The Martins are available to present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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